smil·​ey | \ ˈsmī-lē How to pronounce smiley (audio) \

Definition of smiley

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having a smile : smiling often smiley kids



Definition of smiley (Entry 2 of 2)

Examples of smiley in a Sentence


She's a very smiley kid.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Before El Tucan, Kuchar was known as a harmless, smiley dad-figure. Daniel Rapaport,, "Eight Takeaways From the PGA Tour's Regular Season," 6 Aug. 2019 Last year, Kensington Palace shared a very smiley photo of George to celebrate his fifth birthday. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Kensington Palace Just Released Sweet Photos of Prince George in Honor of His 6th Birthday," 21 July 2019 And Prince William and Kate Middleton's own account even got in on the action, posting a smiley photo of the birthday boy along with a message of thanks for all the well wishes. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince Harry, Prince Charles, and More Royals Celebrate Prince William's Birthday," 21 June 2019 But underneath the smiley press appearances and sleek bops is a young woman deeply unsatisfied with her life. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "All Miley Cyrus' Black Mirror Episode Makes Me Think About Is Britney Spears," 6 June 2019 In the smiley picture, the ex-Suits star is wearing her signature pre-royalty look of skinny jeans, a white shirt and a dressed down leather jacket for a casual evening with friends. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Remember That Time Meghan Markle Vacationed with Eddie Redmayne in 2015?," 13 Nov. 2018 Even when sharing a cute, smiley photo, Philipps makes sure to point out it’s not all fun and games with her two daughters. Patricia Garcia, Vogue, "Cardi B Cancels Tour to Focus on Motherhood, and 9 Other Celebrity Moms Who Know the Struggle Is Real," 27 July 2018 Up until 1995, most of her modeling jobs required the peppy, smiley spirit favored by teen magazines—a tough image to navigate while still a teenager in suburban New Jersey. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "An Iconic Delia’s Model Remembers the Brand’s ’90s Heyday," 5 Nov. 2018 Two years ago, the smiley gray-and-white pooch disappeared from his home with the Frausto family. Kelli Bender,, "Dog Missing Two Years Reunites with Family After Pet Parents Spot Him on TV Adoption Segment," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Water cops patrolled the streets and a generation of children grew up learning about water conservation from Willie the Water Drop, a smiley blue mascot with a red bandana who visited local schools. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, "One border crisis averted? How Juárez and El Paso became sister cities.," 4 Jan. 2019 Especially because Jamey's smiley and charming throughout! 14. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "15 Ways Noah Centineo Is Peter Kavinsky x 100 in Sierra Burgess Is a Loser," 7 Sep. 2018 The smiley as irony -- happiness in the face of unhappiness -- figures heavily into KATSU’s work. Brooke Mazurek, Billboard, "Why Justin Bieber, J Balvin & More Are Obsessed With Smiley Faces in Fashion," 14 June 2019 Would a message authored by Spears really feature an emoticon smiley, when history has demonstrated her preference for emoji? New York Times, "When Britney Spears Posts on Instagram, a Thousand Conspiracies Flower," 12 June 2019 The children’s faces can at times resemble the advertising work that Fujikawa did for Beech-Nut and other brands—they’re expressive but simply rendered, with dark points for eyes and almost smiley-face-like lines for mouths. Sarah Larson, The New Yorker, "How Gyo Fujikawa Drew Freedom in Children’s Books," 21 June 2019 Many of us now use smiley or frowny faces to punctuate text messages, which suggests that language by itself is not as effective as advertised. Frans De Waal, Discover Magazine, "Cheerful Chimps: Are Animals Really Happy When They Smile?," 31 May 2019 Many patients first encountered this new thinking in the form of charts that asked them to point to a range of smiley to frowning faces to indicate where their pain fell on the scale. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "Did the crackdown on opioid prescriptions go too far? Here's why doctors are reconsidering," 10 June 2019 Colleagues that Slack each other smiley-face emojis stay together. Kelsey Gee, WSJ, "Slack Co-Founder on the Power of Emoji at the Office," 21 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'smiley.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of smiley


1848, in the meaning defined above


1987, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for smiley


short for smiley face

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Statistics for smiley

Last Updated

10 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for smiley

The first known use of smiley was in 1848

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More Definitions for smiley



English Language Learners Definition of smiley

: happy and cheerful : smiling a lot

More from Merriam-Webster on smiley

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with smiley

Comments on smiley

What made you want to look up smiley? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not constant or steady

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